I notice some posts an Linear and Abstract Algebra have the 'proper' symbols for R, Z, C etc - how is this done?
Peter
They are not "proper" symbols for these things, the proper symbols (if that has any meaning) are just bold R, Z, C ... What you are referring to are the "black board bold" symbols which are a type face which mimics how the standard bold characters are written on a black board. But then these seem to be more or less standard, and someone else has already told you how to generate them.
CB
\mathbf{R} gives $\displaystyle \displaystyle \mathbf{R}$. The "handwritten" version that looks like $\displaystyle \displaystyle \mathbb{R}$ was just invented by those who were writing it to denote superbold font for the printers, so the superbold form is the most correct.